Maryland DUI 101

Drinking and driving is against the law, and if you get caught with a Maryland DUI, here’s what you need to know.

Maryland DUI Limits

In Maryland, as in most of the U.S., if are a general driver aged 21 or over and have a blood alcohol content, or BAC, level of at least .08 percent, you are considered legally intoxicated. If you are a commercial driver, the corresponding BAC level drops to .04 percent. Anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 cannot have a BAC of higher than .02 percent while behind the wheel, or they could face DUI charges.

Know the Penalties

In Maryland, if you have a BAC of .07 percent or lower, you could be charged with a DWI, or Driving While Impaired. If your BAC is .08 percent or higher, you will face a DUI, also known as Driving Under the Influence. While the two charges are similar, the DUI penalties are much harsher than those attached to the DWI.

On your first DWI in Maryland, you could be looking at up to two months in prison and up to $500 in fines. If you were transporting a minor at the time of your arrest, you could see a jail term of up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000. You could also be looking at a license suspension of at least six months.

On your first DUI conviction, you could face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you were transporting a minor at the time, the jail sentence could be up to two years and the fine could be up to $2,000. You could also be looking at having your license suspended for six months.

A second DWI conviction could lead to a year in jail and the suspension of your license for a minimum of one year. You could also be facing a $500 fine, which jumps to $2,000 if you were transporting a minor at the time of your arrest.

If you’re convicted of a second Maryland DUI, you could be looking at up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. If you were transporting a minor at the time of the arrest, the jail sentence could be up to three years, and the fine could be up to $3,000. You could also have your license suspended for one year, and it’s possible that an ignition interlock device could be installed on your vehicle.

A third drunk driving conviction, which could be either a DUI or DWI, could land you in jail for up to three years and a fine of up to $3,000. If you were transporting a minor at the time, your jail sentence could be up to four years, and the fine could be up to $4,000. You are also looking at a minimum 18-month suspension of your license.

Remember, drinking and driving is against the law, and Maryland authorities are cracking down. If you decide to drink, don’t drive. Instead, hand the keys over to someone else or catch a cab. Do what you need to do to avoid a painful Maryland DUI.